Being so-called backpackers, my friends and I opted to travel mostly on our own with the help of local maps and some knowledge from researches prior to the departure. But at the end of the day, Ju.Z will be impromptu tour-guide, for she was the only one who did the thorough research. Other friends were so lazy to do likewise. Hihih.
One of the challenges when we went abroad especially in non-Islamic countries was difficulties to find prayer place. Yes, we had so much exciting activities waiting for us, but muslim`s obligation is always obligation, no matter how hard it was to find the proper place and to identify which direction the qiblat was.
This picture was taken when we visited Hong Kong Disneyland. When I started travelling , I never thought that performing solat on- the- go could be this tough. The most private place we could find around the theme park was the toilet, and surely that was the last place we went to pray. They say where there is a will, there is a way. Out of nowhere, we spotted a vacant restaurant nearby, and we settled there, wished deep in our heart that there was no traces of dog poo around there.
We took our turn to pray while others were watching around, to cover line. Back then, we used to bring bulky ‘telekung’ which consumed a lot of space in our backpack. And for prayer mat, we used rain coat. It was a very desperate attempt, indeed. But at the end of the day, there was a huge relief was felt for we have completed the vital obligation before having fun.
The same thing also happened during our trip to Beijing. Despite the large number of muslim populations in the province, the number of mosques are very limited at only certain places. And the last resort was to perform solat after having our lunch in a muslim restaurant. The small dining room was crammed with tables and chairs, but we didn`t have much choices but to take turn to perform solat alternately.
It was not only that. We also had a hard time to find praying place when we went to Rottnest Island, Perth. The time was running out and we have just missed the next ferry to the mainland , thus we have no choice but to perform solat at the island. The space was not the issue because it is huge, very huge and yet it is an open space. There is no way we would find better place other than seaside to pray. Some of us were praying while others were looking around. The passers-by looked at us strangely at our behaviour. Out of nervousness , we didn`t bother to capture the struggling moments as always. It was such a battle to keep the obligation, but at the end of the day we had experience worth a lot of lessons to be learnt when we returned home.
Ok, enough with the hard part of the praying story. This scene was taken after we did some shopping at a Tanah Abang, Bandung. The locals performed solat simply at a corner of the walkways. The interesting part is that they wear the telekung in variations of color. It might seem awkward if it is seen in Malaysian surau, tho. Nevertheless, we grabbed it from the shop for ourselves to be used for our next trips.
It is very easy to bring while travelling for the size is very small. And, it fits well in this small pouch, together with my prayer mat.
Plus, a compass is also essentials to identify the qiblat direction. After series of trips that I went, only now I am well-equipped with praying gears for travelling. But I guess it is never too late. Huhu.
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